Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD) refers to any number of problems that can affect the normal function and comfort of your temporomandibular joint (TMJ). Detection and treatment of TMD is accomplished by a branch of dentistry known as Dentofacial Orthopedics which specializes in neuromuscular dentistry.
Symptoms of TMD
You may have TMD if you experience:
• Difficulty moving your jaw
• Clicking or popping of the jaw
• Pain in the neck, face, or shoulders
• Misalignment of the teeth
• Frequent headaches
• Earaches or ear infections
When you visit us for your regular dental check-ups, Seattle neuromuscular dentists Dr. Aaron Cooley and Dr. Brandon Cooley will evaluate the alignment of your jaw to make sure you are not suffering from TMD. If you are experiencing any of the above-mentioned symptoms, you should notify us at the time of your check-up.
Detecting and Treating TMD
Dr. Aaron and Dr. Brandon will check the alignment of your jaw through x-rays and hands-on evaluations. When you are experiencing difficulties with your TMJ, we may include additional diagnostic tools such as jaw tracking or a muscle tension evaluation.
If you are suffering from TMD, we can treat the problem through the use of a TENS unit. This allows us to relax the muscles in your jaw while monitoring movement to determine appropriate alignment. Once this alignment is determined, we will create a treatment option for you. Treatments may include customized mouthguards that realign your jaw or orthodontic treatments to return your bite and jaw to their proper alignment.
If left untreated, TMD may result in much more than pain in your face, neck, and jaw. Postural issues have been linked to TMD, and these issues can impact oxygen flow to vital organs, resulting in a loss of energy and stamina. Additionally, TMD has been linked to issues with balance and poise, turning a common dental problem into a whole-body issue.
If you live in or around Kenmore, Bellevue, or Seattle, Washington and are experiencing discomfort associated with TMD, contact the neuromuscular dentists at Cooley Smiles today to schedule your initial evaluation.